My parents are visiting, and while they’re here, they’re looking at houses. With their two kids now on the east coast, there isn’t much left in Texas to hold their interest. A few days ago I talked with my dad about some of the things I’ve experienced associated with the layoffs and he reminded me of his own story. He survived no less than five layoffs with Mobil Oil before they merged with Exxon, the move that finally brought stability to the company and preserved the oil industry. He retired with ExxonMobil just this year, but there were many times when he thought he would be on the list to go. Before it happened, there would be a new rumor every day and people would lash out at each other from fear. After it happened, the people that left said things about him and believed he said things he never did. For awhile he thought he was losing a lot of friends, and then after awhile, he realized that people that behave that way were never worth worrying about to begin with.
My mother has gone through a long year of ovarian cancer treatments. Every time she goes in to see the doctor, he shakes his head with disbelief. She is still here. My parents never wanted to hear the odds because people aren’t statistics; statistics have very little to do with the progress of the individual. They are planning to move here, regardless of where the future takes me, because they would rather enjoy the time they have left than wait for a possibility that may never come. No one is entitled to a job. No one is entitled to have their slightest hurt feeling massaged. No one is even entitled to ten more years of living without cancer giving the final say in the matter.
As I put a pumpkin pie in the oven, I am reminded of how blessed I am, for this year at least, to have my mother chopping celery at the table. It comes down to this: my father retired in January after 30 years of service to his company. On his last day of work, he turned off his computer, packed his things, and waved to the few co-workers around to witness the event. He walked out the door, and went home to spend time with my mother, still recovering from her surgery in October. What’s really important is hard for us to see sometimes, but life invariably defines it for you. Merry Christmas everyone.
False alarm, friends all over the United States who sent me some worried notes on Facebook. I did not lose my job this week. By saying that, I don’t want to downplay the situation, a lot of good people did. The boss I recently acquired after the last round of layoffs did too, and I’m sorry and disappointed about that as I was for everyone else that received papers Thursday. Some of them I was just starting to get to know, and isn’t that the way of it – experiences like this bring people together. It’s easy to tell yourself you have all the time in the world to get to know the Direct Mail department, hard when you realize time is limited and precious. This round came too late to break my heart, that happened in October, but since I had been through this before I made a point last week to use that VIP party Chuckles the Clown won for me on Halloween. No one could have needed a party more than the group I went out with last Friday.
Props to Howl at the Moon Orlando for making room for us so last minute, and the evening was a blast. My absolute favorite moment was watching Joe Ruby, now ex-boss who was a real class-act on Thursday, getting drug up on stage at Howl to do the Hokey Pokey because he’s “looking for love.” I promised a certain Susan B that I would get the pictures into my blog: Susan, your wish is my command.
You do the Hooooo-key Pokey…
That’s what it’s all about!
Not to be a bumper sticker, but just my luck, that probably is what it’s all about.
What a whirlwind weekend. A party with Wyndham Friday night and two nights out in row with the locals. Did you know you can play homemade Pictionary? Yeah, I feel a little silly for not thinking outside of the game box on that one. I have a HUGE number of pictures to upload from Friday but I haven’t gotten to it, because in the middle of everything I’ve been updating my portfolio for the first time in 4 years. This time I’m having to do a lot more explaining than I used to, including everyone’s contribution and detailing the business results. It’s more fun to lead a team of talented people than it is to be on your own. I’m so proud of what both teams, the one in Redmond and the one I had here, accomplished over the years. Jason, Lucas, Patrick, Deen, Zanne, Frank, Mike, Heidi and Kyle – you’re all fantastic. I still have a couple of bugs to work out on some of my old work, but you gotta sleep sometime.